Posts Tagged ‘Robert Bernstein’

Journey into Mystery #96: Thor

October 5, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Joe Sinnott
September 1963
A-story: **
A cameo from JFK & daughter can’t save this silly Gardner Fox-style face-off btw Thor & Merlin in downtown DC. The goofy robes & bushy beard of the mage from Camelot make it hard to take his threat seriously. The prologue is more compelling: Dr. Blake’s practice suffers cuz he’s out saving a bus.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #95]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #97]

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Journey into Mystery #95: Thor

September 30, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Joe Sinnott
August 1963
A-story: ***
At his first anniversary, Thor is Marvel’s consummate do-gooder. As the God of Storms, he irrigates Asgard; as Dr. Blake, he performs scientific miracles. In this art team’s hands, even the love triangle w/ his alter ego is absent. Conflict comes courtesy of a nefarious inventor’s duplicating ray.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #94]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #96]

Journey into Mystery #94: Thor

September 26, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Joe Sinnott
July 1963
A-story: ***
Sinnott’s well-mannered style recalls Curt Swan in the faces if not the panels, which are more kinetic. The plot too is very Action Comics: Thor, bonked on the head, turns evil & helps Loki destroy the world’s landmarks. What’s unique is that the god, like humanity, is a pawn of Loki & Odin.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #93]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #95]

Journey into Mystery #93: Thor

September 25, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Jack Kirby
June 1963
A-story: ***
Jack’s temporary return is also his finest work on Thor so far. Don Blake proves himself as much of a hero as his alter ego: working triage for India in last fall’s China; finishing an operation before fighting a radioactive Red; & skindiving to the Hudson River bed to retrieve his hammer!
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #92]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #94]

Journey into Mystery #92: Thor

September 24, 2011

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Joe Sinnott
May 1963
A-story: ***
Plenty of filler: Thor thumping thugs & jobbing on a movie shoot. Then Thor’s back in Superman drag, foiling Loki’s attacks by thumping monsters w/ ersatz hammers. Only the mythic background whets your appetite, w/ Odin as an enormous Sky God-head & the arcadian, Oz-like fantasyland of Asgard.
[last issue: Journey into Mystery #91]
[next issue: Journey into Mystery #93]

Tales of Suspense #46: Iron Man

May 7, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Don Heck
October 1963
A-story: ****
Iron Man finally finds its voice in this taut parable of anti-Soviet propaganda pitting Stark against his Commie counterpart, the Crimson Dynamo. Their face-off ends not in violent victory but in epiphany, as the Soviet scientist defects to join Stark’s team. Plus, his stocky red armor is a treat.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #45]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #47]

Tales of Suspense #45: Iron Man

May 6, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Don Heck
September 1963
A-story: ***
To support Stark’s adventuring, Lee & co. add a freckled admin asst. (“Pepper” Potts) & an ex-pug dogsbody w/ Beatrice/Benedick chemistry. Heck’s creative juices are beginning to flow, & his work is more energetic & confident: a spiky ice-villain trumps Kirby’s frosty Iceman, debuting the same month.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #44]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #46]

Tales of Suspense #44: Iron Man

May 5, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Don Heck
August 1963
A-story: *
An inane story out of the execrable Gardner Fox playbook hurls the hero back to Cleopatra’s Egypt via magic, a plot device that plays against the book’s techno theme. Iron Man defends the queen’s throne from a sorcerer, pitting transistorized gadgets against an army of chariots. Disappointingly chaste.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #43]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #45]

Tales of Suspense #43: Iron Man

May 4, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Jack Kirby
July 1963
A-story: ***
Still lacking a distinctive tone or theme, Lee & co. toss Iron Man into yet another Silver Age plot & undermine it w/ sexism. An imperious Kirby queen, aiming to expand her underground empire, kidnaps Stark for his techno talents. Kirby invents farfetched weaponry for IM to use in battle.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #42]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #44]

Tales of Suspense #42: Iron Man

May 3, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Don Heck
June 1963
A-story: **
Heck gives Iron Man a mature feel that’s closer to Infantino’s cool than to Kirby’s dynamism. He adds tension to this thriller, tho’ he doesn’t energize a formulaic story. Stark busts up a spy ring & out-maneuvers a Red master-of-disguise to keep his latest weapons tech out of Soviet hands.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #41]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #43]

Tales of Suspense #41: Iron Man

May 2, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Jack Kirby
May 1963
A-story: **
Kirby gives Iron Man a touch of the trog: stocky build, brute strength. But mostly this actioner follows the forms of the genre: a megalomaniac holds the world hostage from his secret base. A bigger problem is that Lee & Kirby can’t find a way to play Stark’s playboy genius against his alter ego.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #40]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #42]

Tales of Suspense #40: Iron Man

April 30, 2010

Stan Lee & Robert Bernstein // Jack Kirby
April 1963
A-story: ***
Much is made of Tony Stark’s 3 personas (inventor, millionaire, superhero) but it’s irrelevant to a plot that piles up cheap genre thrills: a menacing alien caveman is also an alien robot! Much cooler is how Stark can stash his suit (now gold rather than gunmetal grey) in a briefcase.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #39]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #41]